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ASU Police welcomes new assistant chief

portrait of ASU Assistant Police Chief Patrick Foster
May 20, 2015

Patrick Foster brings 22 years of streetwise law enforcement experience – on patrol, investigating crimes and getting at the root of family and gang violence – when he is sworn in Thursday as Arizona State University’s newest assistant police chief.

Foster is a former Mesa Police Department lieutenant. He takes charge of the department’s support services, which includes investigations, communication and training.

“Patrick is an exemplary leader with a wide breadth and depth of experience that will be valuable to the department, as we pursue new and innovative ways to serve and connect with the university community,” said ASU Police Chief Michael L. Thompson. “I am excited to welcome him to the ASU PD family. We also are excited that Michele Rourke has agreed to continue to serve in a leadership role for the department as commander at ASU West, and thank her for her contributions as interim assistant chief.”

Although Foster will lead the department’s support elements, his responsibilities will extend beyond that, Thompson said. 

“Like our other command staff, Patrick will provide trusted counsel and advice,” Thompson said. “He’s a fresh set of eyes to help us see where we can streamline processes and generate new ideas and initiatives.” 

Foster grew up in a military family and came to Phoenix from Riverside, California, more than two decades ago. A soft spoken but commanding presence, he sheepishly admits that his avid sports interests extend to owning numerous athletic shoes that color coordinate with his exercise and sports outfits. His sports endeavors also brought him to ASU long before putting on one of its police shields. He has worked part time as an event services supervisor with Sun Devil Athletics, managing guest relations and security at various campus athletic events.

“Having worked with the athletic department for the past five years, I’m excited to expand my role in the Sun Devil family,” Foster said. “I’m looking forward to working with Chief Thompson, and his team of dedicated men and women in the ASU Police Department, in making this a model campus law enforcement agency not only regionally, but nationally.”

During his time with Mesa PD, Foster served in assignments including patrol operations, the community action team and criminal investigations. He also spent three years assigned to the nationally accredited Mesa Family Advocacy Center and led the East Valley Gang and Criminal Information Fusion Center.

“My background … and years of community engagement and community policing … have prepared me well to make significant contributions to ASU PD and the university as a whole,” Foster said.   

Foster holds a bachelor’s degree in public safety administration. He has completed numerous law enforcement training courses, including the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board Leadership in Police Organizations course – an executive-level class for officers in the ranks of lieutenant to chief. He also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

“I’m a big believer in striving for excellence in all that you do,” Foster said. “Each of us has a place in this world and we were put here with the tools and ability to shine.  Whether we use those skills and for what purpose is up to us.”